Advocate editorial board opinion: Let city know what you want in your parks

May 17, 2011 at 12:17 a.m.

We live in a place teeming with outdoor activities.

Apart from a few sweltering summer months, the Crossroads' weather almost compels us to go outside and enjoy. And, even on hot summer days, we have the beach nearby.

That's why we are pleased to see the city of Victoria asking for the public comment as it prepares to create a 10-year master plan for its parks. The region's parks should be near the top of our priority list. When people talk about the livability of a city, they invariably start naming outdoor activities and amenities.

Many people already enjoy the hunting, fishing and boating opportunities all around us. All of this is a great selling point for the Crossroads.

The city also has an under-appreciated jewel in Riverside Park, 562 acres nestled along the Guadalupe River featuring a zoo, a public golf course, a rose garden and walking trails. The park ought to be the heart and soul of outdoor activity in the city, but Victorians tend to use it more as an occasional stop rather than a regular part of their lives.

What would it take to make Riverside Park and the city's other parks more attractive and more used? How much should the city invest in the parks system? What parks activities matter the most to you?

These are some of the questions the city is asking in an online survey. These are critical questions that deserve your attention.

One suggestion we'll offer again is an inter-connecting hike and bike trail. In many other cities, people use parks much more often when they can walk, run and bike from one to another. Victoria's new Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail is a wonderful start, but it leads to nowhere. Likewise, the trail in Riverside Park stops on both ends.

A master plan needs to promote and enhance our parks system, thinking through the many options for improving our quality of life. We're sure you also have other ideas about what you've seen work in other cities.

We hope you'll take the time to let the city know what you think. We live in a great place. Let's be sure we're taking full advantage of it.



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